The New York Police Department says it finally has a “credible” rape allegation against Harvey Weinstein.
NYPD Chief Detective Robert Boyce said on Friday that investigators have started the process of corroborating allegations brought by actor Paz de la Huerta, who told Vanity Fair that Weinstein raped her twice in her New York City apartment in 2010.
“Immediately when we got inside the house, he started to kiss me and I kind of brushed [him] away,” de la Huerta said of the first alleged assault. “Then he pushed me onto the bed and his pants were down and he lifted up my skirt. I felt afraid … It wasn’t consensual … It happened very quickly … He stuck himself inside me … When he was done he said he’d be calling me. I kind of just laid on the bed in shock.”
There are now more than 80 women who claim that Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them. But de la Huerta’s case, which is within New York’s statute of limitations for rape in the first degree, has the most concrete evidence for the NYPD to work with.
“I believe based on my interviews with Paz that from the N.Y.P.D. standpoint we have enough to make an arrest,” DiGaudio told Vanity Fair.
During a police briefing Friday, Boyce told reporters that officers are currently gathering evidence in anticipation of obtaining an arrest warrant for Weinstein.
“We are happy with where the investigation is right now. Mr. Weinstein is out of state, so we would need an arrest warrant to arrest him. So, right now we are gathering our evidence. We continue to do so every day,” Boyce said. “This is a collaborative effort between us and the district attorney of New York. So we’ll work together to get this done.”
Manhattan DA spokesperson Joan Vollero said in a statement to VICE News that a senior prosecutor has already been assigned to the case.
“A senior sex crimes prosecutor is assigned to this investigation, and the Office has been working with our partners in the NYPD since the new allegations came to light,” Vollero said.“As this is an active investigation, we will not be commenting further.”
The NYPD has repeatedly criticized Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance for failing to pursue charges against Weinstein for sexual assault in 2015, when Italian model Amra Battilana Gutierrez came to police alleging that Weinstein had assaulted her during a casting meeting. Vance defended his decision not to prosecute, despite an NYPD sting operation that yielded an audio recording of Weinstein admitting he had groped her breasts, saying there wasn’t enough evidence.
A few months later, Vance accepted a $10,000 donation from David Boies, an attorney connected to Weinstein, drawing harsh criticism that prompted the embattled DA to convene an independent commission to examine his campaign finances earlier this month. He has since returned the donation.